“Corti a Roma”: Student Sandro Turchioe Organizes Short Film Festival

Born and raised in New York City, JCU student Alessandro “Sandro” Turchioe (Class of 2020), is a senior Communications major. Sandro is passionate about filmmaking and has been creating short films since he moved to Italy. He is currently organizing a short film festival in Rome titled “Corti a Roma,” which will take place on March 20 at the Apollo 11 theater (near the Manzoni metro station).

Why did you decide to move to Rome and study at JCU?
Back in New York, I had a punk band and I used to build movie sets for a living. I went to City College to study writing and saved up some money. But, eventually, I kind of got bored of New York. I loved making movies and I had a bunch of friends who did, too. But nobody had much inspiration, because we had nowhere to put the films, besides online. In NYC you feel so small compared to what’s going on.

Sandro Turchioe

Alessandro “Sandro” Turchioe

So, I came to Rome with my family, just for vacation. I passed under the Arco di Settimiano and I saw John Cabot. My mother said, just for fun, “You should go study there.” Back in NYC, I started to actually think about moving to Rome. In the end, I had some money I saved up, so I contacted the University and they told me they had a representative in New York. I met her and she convinced me that it was possible.

Where does the idea of “Corti a Roma” come from?
Five years ago, a good friend of mine in NY and I shot a lot of footage together. We were putting it all together and making a movie out of it. Then he came to Rome and we decided we wanted to show the movie in a theater because there is nothing like seeing a movie on a big screen. I talked to Apollo 11 and they told me the cost and availability. This seemed like an opportunity to also showcase the work of other filmmakers. I figured that if I had the possibility to show my movies, I should show other kids’ movies too. It will be fun, like a big party.

How many people are participating?
The festival will last about 2 and a half hours, starting at 7:30 pm: each film will last about 15-20 minutes and there will be an intermission. So far I have a few submissions and I am talking with a production company that has a ton of films. They are an independent Roman company called Persico Films and they will give me five movies. I have another seven short movies from my friends. I also have two judges. There will be no prize, just an official selection and the possibility to show your work to the public. The judges are two JCU professors who are experts in the field, Donatella Della Ratta and Marco Ferrari.

What are your future plans?
If the festival goes well and I build a good relationship with the Apollo 11, I want to see if I can start a new distribution company for short independent films, and see if there is a market for it. From what I have observed, there is a lot of curiosity about art here in Rome.

After graduation, I plan to stay in Italy. If I develop a good relationship with Persico Films, we could work together and create something like a monthly film festival in different theaters. It’s just a dream, but we’ll see if I can make a living out of it.